PHOENIX SUNS

Suns’ Deandre Ayton, Cam Payne both exit with injuries vs. Rockets

Dec 13, 2022, 7:46 PM | Updated: 8:23 pm
Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton (22) shoots over New Orleans Pelicans center Jonas Valanciunas (1...

Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton (22) shoots over New Orleans Pelicans center Jonas Valanciunas (17) in the first half of an NBA basketball game in New Orleans, Friday, Dec. 9, 2022. (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)

(AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)

Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton and point guard Cam Payne were both injured against the Houston Rockets and were ruled out.

Ayton tweaked his left ankle in the late second quarter on a catch and drive to the basket. The play was initially ruled a defensive foul before getting reviewed and changed to an offensive foul on Ayton. The center walked gingerly back to the locker room. He was 2-of-10 in the first half.

Payne was the lone bright spot of a first half the Suns trailed by 19 in. He hit a trio of 3s to be Phoenix’s leading scorer at nine points before hurting his right foot in the early second quarter.

It wasn’t clear when Payne injured his foot. He was moving OK on his last offensive possession before his right foot started really bothering him on defense, where he committed a foul before checking out.

The absences of Ayton and Payne come when the Suns are already without Devin Booker (left hamstring tightness), Cam Johnson (meniscus tear) and Duane Washington Jr. (hip strain). Jae Crowder, of course, is also away from the team as Phoenix continues to try to find a trade.

Bismack Biyombo started the second half in place of Ayton.

The Suns lost to the Rockets 111-97.

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